Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

A somewhat definitive Schwinn Suburban Thread (eventually)

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

A somewhat definitive Schwinn Suburban Thread (eventually)

Old 09-08-22, 07:37 PM
  #1  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
A somewhat definitive Schwinn Suburban Thread (eventually)

It isn't definitive yet, but the idea is that over time it will be and others who are researching the Suburban can come here to find things out. Ask questions, etc. I'm back into cycling now after many years. For about 10 years I restored/rebuilt a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible with my son. I'm a details and questions kind of guy, so here goes.

So I finally picked up this 1978 Schwinn Suburban 5 speed with FF System. Paid $50. I'm an urban cruiser in downtown Indianapolis. This appears to be pretty much all original (you tell me). Even the tires (cracked and now replaced appeared to have original Schwinn stickers on them).

I'll be riding this and tinkering and asking questions along the way. I'll also post things about it here for others who want to research the Suburban.

Here is how it looked when I got it:

Drive Side

Front View

Front Tire

WEIGHTS (I'll add more as I do them)

Total Weight = 42 lbs
Rear Wheel (with tire) = 7.03 lbs
Rear Wheel (without tire) = 5.47 lbs
Front Wheel (with tire) = 5.13 lbs
Front Wheel (without tire) = 3.57 lbs
Crankset (with sprocket without pedals) = 3.97 lbs
Seat = 2.8 lbs
Seatpost = .44 lbs
Front fork = 2.29 lbs
Frame (no forks but with kickstand) = 9.73 lbs


Looks like one original fat bow pedal and one replacement. I replaced the tires with the Schwinn 27 x 1 1/4 replacements from Amazon (fastest way I could get new tires and get riding). Other than that, haven't had to do anything to her. Gears shift all the way through except for 1st. Derailleur won't go all the way up. Need to adjust that. Brakes work well. Pads are dried out so it squeaks. Seat (as has been said before) is very comfy. She's a little bouncy but a very luxurious ride all in all. Rode her to work today.

Plans include adding at least one rack so I can use her as a grocery getter. Haven't decided between rear for my panniers or front for just a grocery bag. Probably add a bell, cause that'd be cool.

Long-term wondering what the option would be to swap the 5 speed for a 3 speed rear wheel and a single cog up front with chain guard. I know the Suburban had a 3 speed option for men's in the very early years, but this is a 1978 and that was no longer an option. Can anybody tell me what Schwinns had 27 inch 3 speed rear wheels that might swap in? I see lots of 3 speeds but they are mostly 26 inch.

Last edited by Groover; 02-18-23 at 07:01 PM. Reason: additional information
Groover is offline  
Likes For Groover:
Old 09-08-22, 07:42 PM
  #2  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 9,843

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2452 Post(s)
Liked 2,830 Times in 1,729 Posts
I don't know about compatibility of the 3 speed with a FFS crankset and what issues that might cause.
dedhed is offline  
Likes For dedhed:
Old 09-08-22, 07:55 PM
  #3  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Yes, I was assuming I'd have to swap the crankset as well. My first choice would be to just find a decent 3 speed (70-71 Suburban), but gonna be tough to find one in as good of condition as this for similar price.
Groover is offline  
Likes For Groover:
Old 09-08-22, 09:46 PM
  #4  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,644
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 722 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 276 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed
I don't know about compatibility of the 3 speed with a FFS crankset and what issues that might cause.
It won't be a problem. The chain will have a freewheel at both ends, that's all!

The Positron shifter is adjusted by shifting the chain to the middle cog, verifying the derailleur is on the correct index notch (with Positron shifting the indexing is at the derailleur), and then adjusting the derailleur so that the chain runs straight down from the cog through the derailleur. It's odd that it won't go into low gear- I'd double check the adjustment.

FWIW: I was a Schwinn mechanic during the FFS period (1979 to 1984) so I know those bikes inside & out. Yours is in really good shape. Personally I'd replace the rubber (tires and brake shoes), grease the cables and bearings, and go ride. If the bike were missing parts or if the Positron shifter was broken I'd consider modifying it. Since neither is true, keep it as is.

I currently have an earlier 5-speed Suburban that's pretty crusty and awaiting restoration. It's complete, just showing the effects of long, cold storage:
Burgundy Suburban | Flickr
I also have a Super Sport that I got as a basket case (no rear wheel, weird pedals) so I rebuilt it with a 3-speed hub, alloy 700C rims, and alloy upright handlebars. It's a cool in-town cruiser:
Burgundy Super Sport | Flickr
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Likes For Jeff Wills:
Old 09-09-22, 12:59 AM
  #5  
streetsurfer
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Illinois
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 111 Posts

70 Suburban 3 speed.


I can get a better picture today if youd like, but its not pretty- fenders and chain guard have seen some
Spray can touch-ups. This is the ad picture. I probably overpaid at $75 for this. Ive changed seats and had tried a different low rise minor sweep bar, but do enjoy this bar better. Brake pads and some
cable housing swaps are all Ive done beside regrease everything. Bearings/raceways all looked good.

Last edited by streetsurfer; 09-09-22 at 01:02 AM.
streetsurfer is offline  
Old 09-09-22, 05:58 AM
  #6  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Yep, that's the look I would have preferred. The four loop front cog and the chain guard. I'm not itching to start swapping stuff and my five speed is also cool. I just don't think I'll ever need more than 3 speeds and I like the cleaner look without the rear cassette and derailleur, etc. But this sure is a pleasure to ride... and so I will.
Groover is offline  
Likes For Groover:
Old 09-09-22, 06:18 PM
  #7  
albrt 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 608

Bikes: 1967(?) Dawes Double Blue, 1982 Claud Butler Dalesman, 1982 Nishiki International, 1983 Schwinn Paramount Elite, 1990s Hard Rock drop bar conversion, 2014 Brompton, maybe a couple more

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 197 Post(s)
Liked 391 Times in 190 Posts
You should be able to take the big pie plate off the crankset pretty easily.
albrt is offline  
Old 09-09-22, 11:42 PM
  #8  
Vintage Schwinn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 608
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 336 Times in 224 Posts
Groover: there is a cat over on the CABE called Fotomatt1, who in the last few days has acquired a BLUE '77 five speed that looks like yours.
https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/su....208208/page-2


https://thecabe.com/forum/

Keep those pedals turning. Stay Thin Ride A Schwinn!

Don't get all bummed out because the ones that you may find, do not look to be as nice as Groover's CHESTNUT colored '77 or Fotomatt1 on the cabe site's BLUE colored '77. Schwinn paint and Schwinn chrome will really clean up. Don't believe it, well just go search out the work of HARPO on the cabe. He is on bikeforums too under a different handle. ("handle" as from the cb radio days.....for example such as: Bandit, The Snowman, Rubber Duck........ the user name, etc)
Vintage Schwinn is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 03:33 AM
  #9  
Jeff Neese
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,121
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Liked 437 Times in 289 Posts
Originally Posted by dedhed
I don't know about compatibility of the 3 speed with a FFS crankset and what issues that might cause.
There shouldn't be any inherent incompatibility, but it would certainly render the FFS completely useless. (Rather than "almost" completely useless which it already is.)
Jeff Neese is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 03:40 AM
  #10  
Jeff Neese
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,121
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Liked 437 Times in 289 Posts
Originally Posted by albrt
You should be able to take the big pie plate off the crankset pretty easily.
Dork disks and reflectors are normally the first things to be removed on my bikes, but in this case I'd leave it on. The rear chrome pie plate balances the big chrome ring on the front crank. It's part of the aesthetic.
Jeff Neese is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 07:32 AM
  #11  
mkeller234
Rustbelt Rider
 
mkeller234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 9,123

Bikes: 1990 Trek 1420 - 1978 Raleigh Professional - 1973 Schwinn Collegiate - 1974 Schwinn Suburban

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Liked 357 Times in 171 Posts
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Dork disks and reflectors are normally the first things to be removed on my bikes, but in this case I'd leave it on. The rear chrome pie plate balances the big chrome ring on the front crank. It's part of the aesthetic.
I 100% agree. A schwinn is unique from the European style of bikes. Embrace the amount of chromed steel and lean into it.

My very first vintage bike was a chestnut 78 suburban with Positron and FFS, it was awesome. I miss that bike. The FFS is cool, you can shift without pedaling.

I drove down to German Village in Columbus to buy this bike.

Pictures from 2008:



Last edited by mkeller234; 09-10-22 at 07:37 AM.
mkeller234 is offline  
Likes For mkeller234:
Old 09-10-22, 11:04 AM
  #12  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
All right, so now that we've assembled some knowledgeable people on this thread, can I ask about racks? I'd like to carry groceries, etc on the Suburban. I have two nice pannier bags that fit my Trek with rear rack.

Seems the Pletscher style rack is the right rack for the suburban. I'd prefer the one that attaches to the seat post clamp rather than sandwiching the frame with the two pieces of metal. Is there a specific name for the ones with the seat post attachment or are they made for different styles of bikes? I don't see them for sale anywhere, but I see them on pictures of people's bikes.

And:

Will the old Pletscher style carry panniers with weight the same as a modern rack? I carry about 25 lbs when I shop. How do people feel about the Wald folding baskets in back vs loose panniers?

Finally, how about a front rack? Would like to stay true to the classics, but on the front I'd like it to be able to hold a six pack of bottles, etc, so maybe more like a pie plate. Was there a Pizza Delivery Style Pletscher for the front? or I suppose a basket rather than a rack?

What rack options would look appropriate for the old Suburban but be fully functional as well?

Last edited by Groover; 09-10-22 at 11:14 AM.
Groover is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 01:02 PM
  #13  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,874

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 703 Post(s)
Liked 785 Times in 540 Posts
I like the old Schwinn racks. They are as you describe, attaching to the seat clamp. They are sturdy and can fit a range of bikes. They are not as rigid as dedicated touring racks like vintage Blackburn racks. I had a bike with the Schwinn rack and the Wald folding baskets and it worked well for shopping. My only problems were that I occasionally hit the basket with my heel and I was carrying Wendy's back to the shop and the chili spilled. The rack which started to corrode in the area of the spill.

So, if you carry hot chili, make sure it does not open up. Or get the black powder coated baskets. They should be about to handle spilled chili better.

If you get a Pletcher rack, be sure install a bracket between the brake bolt and the rack so the rack doesn't move around on the seat stays.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 09-10-22 at 01:35 PM.
Velo Mule is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 01:29 PM
  #14  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,874

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 703 Post(s)
Liked 785 Times in 540 Posts
Here is a picture of the Schwinn rack.



Instead of using the Wald baskets, a lighter alternative would be these fabric versions. This is what I use now. I still get heel strike sometimes. I try to move the bags back as far as possible on the rack. This bike has vintage Blackburn racks.


In the closed position, I use that green and black parachute cord to tie the bags tight at the top. They also have snaps to keep them closed. There are several brands that sell this style of bag. This is what I would use if I had your Suburban.



I use the trunk bag for my lock, phone, and extra space.
Velo Mule is offline  
Likes For Velo Mule:
Old 09-10-22, 02:11 PM
  #15  
streetsurfer
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Illinois
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 111 Posts
I dehorned and clear-coated this rack when moving it to this bike. Thinking it looks a little better. I found all the flashing unsightly.



Ive stood on it and bounced, with my 135 lbs, and it hasn't budged on the stays. I used cork at the stay mount, as I did on my Continental back in the day.
(rack is centered-I wasnt).
streetsurfer is offline  
Likes For streetsurfer:
Old 09-10-22, 03:56 PM
  #16  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
The cork is a good idea.

And now, just like that, the fun stops. Took her out for a ride to try to adjust the gears and the nub broke of the cable end at the shifter. I seem to recall seeing these are no longer made. I see NOS on ebay. Is NOS the route to go?
Groover is offline  
Old 09-10-22, 05:12 PM
  #17  
Velo Mule
Senior Member
 
Velo Mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,874

Bikes: Trek 800 x 2, Schwinn Heavy Duti, Schwinn Traveler, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Schwinn Continental, Cannondale M400 and Lambert, Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 703 Post(s)
Liked 785 Times in 540 Posts
Sorry to hear that the shifter cable has broken. If it were me. I would try to find a Schwinn four leaf clover chainring, crank assembly and chainguard. Change the freewheel and derailleur to a friction shift Shimano or Suntour, and get a new thumb shifter. And convert the bike to a regular 5 speed. The best be would be to find a step through Varsity, Continental or Suburban. Step through bikes should go for far less money than "men's" bike. Or if you really luck out perhaps you can find a three speed. I would caution to be sure that it is a Sturmey Archer hub.

If you have a bicycle co-op near by, they can be a great source of these parts as well.

Unfortunately, those Front Freewheel Systems were not popular enough to get Shimano or aftermarket support.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 09-10-22 at 05:19 PM.
Velo Mule is offline  
Likes For Velo Mule:
Old 09-10-22, 09:08 PM
  #18  
streetsurfer
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Illinois
Posts: 262
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 206 Times in 111 Posts
Originally Posted by Groover;[url=tel:22642702
22642702[/url]]The cork is a good idea.

And now, just like that, the fun stops. Took her out for a ride to try to adjust the gears and the nub broke of the cable end at the shifter. I seem to recall seeing these are no longer made. I see NOS on ebay. Is NOS the route to go?
is this the small coin end shift cable? I have just been filing down the ferrules on modern cables to a close resemblance. Grip half at a time of it in the jaws of a needle nose vise grip and a mill bastard file will make short work of it
streetsurfer is offline  
Old 09-11-22, 06:33 AM
  #19  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Streetsurfer, believe mine is "coin end", but also the solid positron cable as opposed to a regular cable (regardless of the end stop)?

I'm thinking this is the NOS replacement:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/40387725373...EAAOSwqGtjFgQv

Correct?
Groover is offline  
Old 09-11-22, 06:53 AM
  #20  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Velo Mule (or others):

So to confirm,

1. Any Suburban (Men's or step through) should have a correct direct-swapable: chainring, crank assembly, and either correct 27 inch wheel w/freewheel or at least the freewheel alone could be swapped, derailleur, etc?

2. Are all the Ashtabula crank assemblies swapable (at least among Schwinns)? Seems there are no difference between the sizes on lower headsets among any of the adult Schwinn's? Are there different crank lengths? Will the four leaf clover chainring have the same chainline?

3. Ultimately, if I go looking for a 3-speed S/A hub with wheel, are there any other suspects besides 70 or 71 Suburban? Are there any other 3-speed Schwinn's with 27 inch wheel? If not, would the S/A 3-speed hub swap into this wheel, if I want to take the time to rebuild the wheel (which I would) but will the 5 speed spokes and rim work a 3-speed hub?

Appreciate all the help on this project (good thing I have a few other bikes to ride)
Groover is offline  
Old 09-11-22, 07:30 PM
  #21  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
And now, one more bike to ride...
Groover is offline  
Old 09-12-22, 01:55 AM
  #22  
Vintage Schwinn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 608
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 336 Times in 224 Posts
Most all of the sixties and seventies Collegiates/Varsities/Suburbans have the exact same (approx 165mm) crank arm length. Women's (step-through) 26inch(597mm) Collegiates-Breezes etc , all have the same 165mm (6 1/2 inch) crank arm length.
THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN ANY SCHWINN Ashtabula crank,hanger set(bottom bracket). ALL WILL FIT* (at least everything post WWII) and there are zero differences for fit - mounting in the bottom bracket with the exception that really ancient ones circa 1940's schwinns maybe featured the #66 caged bearings while all Schwinns since at least around the mid fifties feature #64 caged bearings.............it probably is sometime not long after WWII and up. As yall know, the other American makes mostly continued to use the #66 caged bearings. BASICALLY as long as you use whatever CUPS that belong with whatever combination and that you use whatever hardware with whatever ashtabula one piece crank that you choose..........there will be no difference in functionality......none........none is any better...if sufficiently greased, and the cups-races are in decent enough shape. The old original SCHWINN stamped #64 caged bearings are made of ball bearing quality that does not exist today in replacement ball bearings for bicycle applications. Not only Schwinn but a few USA bearing makers' offerings in #64 and #66 bearings during the period of say 1957 to perhaps 1970 or 1971 were world class, and way better than anyone would ever need in a bicycle ball bearing. They better resist wear and pitting if kept clean and sufficiently greased. Schwinn stamped bearings were superb quality until the Chicago end.
No need to worry as today's $4 or $5 taiwanese made NEW #64 caged bearings or #66 caged bearings are very good, and all of the NEW ones made anywhere else are good too. As long as sufficiently greased and cleaned and regreased as needed when exposed to a lot of dirt/grit etc, you should get a decade or more out of them.
You won't get the 70 years+ that may be possible from the old Schwinn stamped #64 caged bearings from late fifties to 1980-'82 if cleaned & regreased with waterproof synthetic auto-marine quality wheel bearing grease, or the same treatment for those from the best USA bearing makers' offerings from 1960 to 1970.
Schwinns Ashtabula one piece cranks are 28 tpi threaded, meaning that you have to use the hardware for Schwinn cranks(28tpi) with Schwinn cranks, and you'd have to use the OTHER brands' 24tpi hardware if you use some OTHER brands' Ashtabula crank. THEY ALL INTERCHANGE, AS LONG AS IT IS FOR THE OLD TRADITIONAL 2 INCH diameter ashtabula ONE PIECE CRANK hanger set.

You have two distinctively different styled 46 TEETH Schwinn FRONT CHAINRINGS that were featured in the 1960's and 1970's: The "CLOVER--four circle.." and the "MAG" style.......................................otherwise they are exactly the same. For example, the 1964-1967 COLLEGIATE & THE 1971 through at least 1977 COLLEGIATE came with the "clover'-four circle --------------THE 1969 & 1970 COLLEGIATE came with the "MAG" style" but returned to the CLOVER in 1971.
The BREEZE & THE SPEEDSTER mostly came with the CLOVER but during some years during the Seventies, they came with the "MAG".
I might be wrong but one of the final Chicago made Collegiates around '80-'82 came with the "MAG".......might have been the 3 speed Breeze that they essentially re-named Collegiate 3 at that time circa '80.

You also in addition to the Schwinn "CLOVER- four circle" a.k.a "Movie Reel" as some folks call it,---------you've got the "MAG".......and also you've got REPRODUCTIONS of the "SWEETHEART" 46 teeth front chainring..................this is pretty much exactly like the CLOVER-four circle, except instead, imagine seeing four hearts instead of four circles. Heck, you can use anybody's front chainring that went on or is meant to go on a one piece crank over the past 85 years. Now, you wouldn't want to try using an antique Skip-Tooth front chainring, so basically anything else. Yeah, there might be a maximum difference, at the most, of maybe ~ 1/16th of an inch difference in the THICKNESS of the various vintage, ordinary teeth, front chainrings. Most will only vary between maybe ~ 1/32nd of an inch. NEITHER VARIANCES WILL MAKE A DANG BIT OF DIFFERENCE. You also won't have any issues with USED ancient teeth, chromed steel front chainrings, these were extremely strong and if they look decent, they will still be serviceable during your great-great grandchildrens' lifetimes.
Use whatever chainring that you like the best! Also choose whatever TEETH AMOUNT Number for the front that you want to.
Hey if you see a nice shape, excellent chrome crank and front chainring from say a 1961 JC HIGGINS (sears-roebuck) one piece crank bike......you can if you want, or you can just take the JC HIGGINS (likely murray..sewer drain style..) and use it, or use that old chainring on whatever one piece crank, Schwinn, or ancient other brand, or new repro aftermkt from somebody like PORKCHOP BMX, or some of those major beach cruiser specialists in the Los Angeles area, that have Ebay stores, or some direct from CHINA or wherever (Amazon, Ebay vendor).
A ONE-PIECE CRANK new reproduction or nice used vintage ancient Ashtabula, should be very INEXPENSIVE from wherever you source them. Now, certainly there are a few vintage ancient ones that the crazy CABERS, that dig the crazy doo-dad, howdy dooty bikes of the thirties, forties, and early fifties, think are worth more than Fort Knox. So yeah if it is one of those, really unique styles, short-lived, from the long extinct pre-war (WWII) American manufacturers, not including Schwinn, than the CABERS go nuts for nice ones that they need for their ELGIN bicycle or whatever restorations. Otherwise, stuff from 1955 and up, should be relatively inexpensive, if not very inexpensive. Sure, everybody seeking a perfect chrome example will run up higher in their bidding to get that perfect chrome chainring and/or crank. This happens mostly on non-Schwinn items because Schwinn chrome quality was the best in the industry. Sure some other manufacturers had great chrome also between 1955 and maybe 1965, but other than during that period, nobody else had chrome plating that was compareable to Chicago made, Schwinn after about 1954.

Vendors today like PORKCHOP, & the LA area beachcruiser specialists on ebay, and the Chinese & Taiwanese manufacturers/vendors on Ebay...Amazon etc., have ONE PIECE cranks, offered in different crank arm lengths than 165mm(6 1/2 inches)......you have several different New Aftermarket in lengths available, including 165mm, probably 170mm, 172mm. 175mm and approx. 160mm and maybe others, but 165mm is likely to be most common.
Don't expect the chrome plating quality to be even average quality for something from anybody during the 1950-1980 period. The Chrome plating process is not enviromentally friendly (runoff and disposal of used fluids..), although it is an old timey, cave-man process that is rather simple.......nobody is doing multiple plating process, anywhere that I know of. The most expensive blade irons from 2022 (golf clubs for scratch low handicap & professional caliber golfers) have a chrome plating quality that does not even come anywhere close to the chrome plating quality that an inexpensive 1972 store-line set from Kmart, J.M. Fields, JC PENNEY's, Sears-Roebuck.....so yeah those ancient '72 era Sam Snead BLUE RIDGE, Billy Casper SHOT-MAKER, Julius Boros TOURNAMENT, or Jack Nicklaus GOLD CROWN, Jack Nicklaus MASTER, and even the super trashy seventies era Jack Nicklaus GOLDEN BEAR irons had better chrome than what anything top of the line from today has.
****Chrome plating quality does not improve the functionality of a golf clubhead or a one piece crank, or handlebar, or stem..................but if you like that deep incredible mirror like shine that doesn't flake or corrode as easily as todays chomed stuff,............you'll likely want clean, near perfect used stuff from the end of the Eisenhower Administration to the end of the Carter Administration.

As for locating S/A 3 speed TWENTY SEVEN inch USED wheelsets, did RALEIGH produce some (630mm) 27" wheel 3 speeds from about 1969 up, through the early Seventies?.... .I don't know , but I do remember that the derailleur equipped SPRITE five speed did have (630mm) 27" wheels.

Perhaps all of the Raleigh 3 speeds retained the 26 inch (590mm) wheels. Someone else might be able to say definitively on what other makes offered (630mm) 27 inch wheeled THREE SPEEDS to the USA market during the 1970's.

There is no reason that IF YOU WANTED TO, that you couldn't try to )build up a set up with either 27" (630mm) wheels or 700C (622mm) wheels, SURE, IT WOULD INVOLVE LACING UP NEW SPOKES TO A 3 SPEED STURMEY-ARCHER HUB of Your Choice. Getting(obtaining) the proper length spokes to make this, would probably be the most difficult part.
I would advise looking thru old threads both here on bike forums, and also on the c.a.b.e. too concerning custom S/A 3 speed builds. I am sure that you'll find one or two that did build something like that. Start threads asking specifically....... Questioning the forums' folks on exactly how to best proceed in accomplishing such a build.
As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one, so maybe two hundred or two thousand folks brainstorming might yield at least one decent game plan. Yeah, you'll get twenty people that might ask you why and tell you that you are wasting your time with anything old and steel, and tell you that you need a 13 pound carbon fiber bike, with a single front chainring,.. an 11 speed cassette in the rear, with bullhorn bars, and tri-athlon bars in the center....or whatever....
If it seems FUN to you, then try and do a little searching & research, and then if it seems practically possible for you,....then carefully plan and green-light your project, because you know it will be fun when its done.
It will be fun building it too. It will probably be even more fun to show it off to others while you're riding it around.
Your Chestnut colored, SUBURBAN five speed looks great, a great color offering, with really nice factory graphics/decals offered on the Suburban models during that year.
You may wish to keep whatcha got & seek to find another bicycle for the ultimate 3 speed project......('70 &'71 there was a 3 speed SUBURBAN offering, as you know, and the color offerings in '70 & '71 weren't as eye popping NICE as that Chestnut color but there was a burgandy-wine like red that was nice.) Anybody know for certain if Schwinn offered a 3 speed Suburban again for a very brief time near the Chicago end days circa '80-'82? The 3 speed Breeze was renamed Collegiate 3 around that time.
If you do proceed to find another bike to build the ultimate 3 speed project, you will want to study and read up on what & how certain folks built theirs with S/A gearing that better suited their own riding style and riding location. I just don't know nearly enough about 3 speeds to give helpful detailed advice.
Vintage Schwinn is offline  
Old 09-12-22, 03:07 PM
  #23  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Thanks for the detailed info Vintage Schwinn.

Can you say if this is the NOS cable for the Positron FF: https://www.ebay.com/itm/40388114653...m=403881146537

And was there any other 27 inch Schwinn 3-speed besides the 70-71 SubUrban?
Groover is offline  
Old 09-12-22, 05:37 PM
  #24  
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Posts: 9,644
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 722 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 276 Posts
Originally Posted by Groover
Thanks for the detailed info Vintage Schwinn.

Can you say if this is the NOS cable for the Positron FF: https://www.ebay.com/itm/40388114653...m=403881146537

And was there any other 27 inch Schwinn 3-speed besides the 70-71 SubUrban?
I could swear that I saw that you could order a Paramount with a 3-speed drivetrain in the '60's, but a quick search of catalog scans turned up nothing. Maybe it was a product of my imagination.

The Ebay Positron "cable" you linked to will work if all you need is the inner wire. The outer sheath is too long because it's intended for the handlebar-mounted thumb shifter. Positron outer sheaths can't be trimmed because there's a molded fitting at both ends.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline  
Old 09-12-22, 06:38 PM
  #25  
Groover
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 33

Bikes: Sanwa - The Li'l Brown Bear, Schwinn Suburban, Schwinn Speedster, Trek Alpha 4300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
I assume all I need is the cable. My sheath is fine. I could slide this cable through and cut it to length, correct?

I have found a 1975 5 speed step over donor for the standard (non FF) setup but waiting for a response to go look.
Groover is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.